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Hosea Chapter 12 | Parsha: Va-yishlah Va-yetse

1Ephraim surrounds Me with deceit,
The House of Israel with guile.
(But Judah stands firm with God
And is faithful to the Holy One.)

2Ephraim tends the wind
And pursues the gale;
He is forever adding
Illusion to calamity.
Now they make a covenant with Assyria,
Now oil is carried to Egypt.

3The Lord once indicted Judah,
And punished Jacob for his conduct,
Requited him for his deeds.

4In the womb he tried to supplant his brother;
Grown to manhood, he strove with a divine being,

5He strove with an angel and prevailed—
The other had to weep and implore him.
At Bethel [Jacob] would meet him,
There to commune with him.

6Yet the Lord, the God of Hosts,
Must be invoked as “Lord.”

7You must return to your God!
Practice goodness and justice,
And constantly trust in your God.

8A trader who uses false balances,
Who loves to overreach,

9Ephraim thinks,
“Ah, I have become rich;
I have gotten power!
All my gains do not amount
To an offense which is real guilt.”

10I the Lord have been your God
Ever since the land of Egypt.
I will let you dwell in your tents again
As in the days of old,

11When I spoke to the prophets;
For I granted many visions,
And spoke parables through the prophets.

12As for Gilead, it is worthless;
And to no purpose have they
Been sacrificing oxen in Gilgal:
The altars of these are also
Like stone heaps upon a plowed field.

13Then Jacob had to flee to the land of Aram;
There Israel served for a wife,
For a wife he had to guard [sheep].

14But when the Lord
Brought Israel up from Egypt,
It was through a prophet;
Through a prophet they were guarded.

15Ephraim gave bitter offense,
And his Lord cast his crimes upon him
And requited him for his mockery.

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